Superintendent's Newsletter - November 19, 2020
Dear Salt Lake City School District community,
On Tuesday night, the Board of Education voted to offer an in-person option for our youngest learners beginning at the end of January. This will begin sometime the week of January 25 with students in pre-K, kindergarten, and 1st grade. We will expand to bring in students in 2nd through 6th grades after that. (Please note this will not include 6th graders who attend a middle school.)
Working closely with the Salt Lake County Health Department, we have examined the latest COVID-19 data for all the school districts in Salt Lake County. The data indicate that elementary school-aged students are contracting COVID-19 at similar rates across the county, regardless of whether they are currently attending school in person or online. There is no statistically significant difference in COVID-19 rates for elementary-aged students in Salt Lake County, which tells us that even though COVID cases are rising in our community at large, the risk does not increase significantly for elementary students when they attend school in person. After consulting with pediatric epidemiology experts, our local health department, and my leadership team, I felt comfortable making this recommendation to our Board of Education.
Making a proposal to offer an in-person option is not something we took lightly. Please know that we make decisions with the best interests of students and employees – for both safety and educational opportunities – at heart. We will continue to monitor health department data, including to learn more about the impact this change may have on both children and adults.
Remote learning will continue to be an option for those who feel that is the right choice for their family, and district leaders will work closely with school leaders over the next several weeks to determine how to best structure these two learning options. I will continue to provide you with updates every Thursday as we approach the week of January 25, and we will have a dedicated page on our district website with information about this transition available soon. You will receive school level updates from your student’s principal.
The virus is currently out of control in our communities, and we need your help to change that before the end of January. Now is the time to take personal responsibility for getting our community spread under control. Please wear your mask routinely, practice social distancing, and limit contact with people who do not live in your same household. The infection rate can change rapidly, and we all need to do our part to keep each other safe.
If you have questions, please reach out to me or to your Board of Education member. Please read on for additional announcements.
DIGITAL LEARNING DAY
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, is an asynchronous learning day for students. (Asynchronous learning means class will not be held live. Instead, the learning can happen on the student’s own time and at the student’s own pace.) Teachers will provide asynchronous lessons for students on this day, just as they do on Wednesdays during our regular week of remote instruction. Students will have at least four hours of asynchronous learning planned by their teacher(s). Elementary teachers should provide four hours of learning for students. Middle school and high school teachers should provide approximately one hour per class period, based on the number of periods per day.
More information is available on our website.
The Salt Lake County Health Department will be offering free COVID-19 testing next Tuesday, November 24, at the Maverik Center, 3200 South Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, UT 84119. COVID-19 testing will be available from 2-5 p.m.
COVID-19 testing at the Maverik Center now requires registration before you arrive. Visit https://bit.ly/SLCoMavCOVIDTest or call 385-468-4082 to register.
This year, making sure your family members get a flu shot is more important than ever. Free flu shots are available, Monday – Saturday, at several locations in Salt Lake County. You can find the locations, times, and dates on the Salt Lake County website.
STUDENT TECHNICAL SUPPORT
Starting Monday, November 23, the student and family technical support hours at our three Community Learning Centers will be Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on district holidays.
- Glendale/Mountain View Community Learning Center (1388 Navajo St, Salt Lake City, UT 84104)
Enter in the south door.
- Liberty Community Learning Center (1078 S 300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84111)
Enter on the east side of the building (not on the west through the main school doors).
- Rose Park Community Learning Center (1105 West 1000 North, Salt Lake City, UT, 84116)
Enter in the main doors.
Salt Lake City School District